Press Release. Genius Vitae Project starts

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Genius Vitae starts: Pontifical Academy for Life and Sacro Cuore Catholic University explore “dynamic places” of social changes.

Vatican City, 6th March 2018 – Today at the Pontifical Academy for Life headquarters marks the start of the Genius Vitae project, a collaboration between the Academy for Life and Sacro Cuore Catholic University through the Centre for the Anthropology of Religion and Cultural Change (ARC).

“We bring to the field a project to widen life’s comprehension,” said Msgr. Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life. “In the past, Christian tradition has given great attention to the life in its various forms. Let’s think about spiritual places (abbeys, monasteries), about all those caring places (hospitals, recovery centres), all those educational and training realities (schools, universities) as Christian-inspirited realities, capable of establishing new forms of individual and social development (banks, cooperatives, social societies). In this way is possible to talk about a real ‘Christian genius’ that can cross the boundaries of the religious sphere, to reach new borders, where human life could get to its height. That’s made Church, over its own strains and contradictions, to be a generative net, opened to the Genius Vitae, able to take care of it.” The Gospel itself shows us many activities and experiences.

The project’s main purpose, according to Prof. Mauro Magatti, a sociologist from Sacro Cuore Catholic University and ARC executive member, is that both Christianity genius and experience could return to producing a shared knowledge based on concreteness and true experiences – a living and embodied knowledge, therefore, able to talk to the contemporary man.

To reach this purpose, says Chiara Giaccardi, a sociologist and Catholic University professor, the Genius Vitae project tells about experiences of life lived in the various countries of the world, exploring social transformations.

Those who took part in the March 6 announcement include Msgr. Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life; Msgr. Renzo Pegoraro, Pontifical Academy Chancellor; and from Catholic University Professors Giaccardi and Magatti. The first case to be examined concerns Nairobi’s Koinonia Centre to restore hope and dignity to the lives of street boys.

In the afternoon  Professor Stella Morra, a Gregorian University theologian, and Prof. Giovanni Dotti of Sacro Cuore Catholic University, focused on writings of two prominent figures of Christian reflection: Jesuit Michel de Certeau and priest and philosopher Raimond Pannikkar.

Vatican City, 6th March 2018.